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Easter: We Have Been Raised with Christ. Easter is More Than a Day; it is a Way

Easter is a Way of Living our Lives in Him for the Sake of the World

Easter is more than a Day, it is a Way; A Way of living our lives differently now in Him. We are invited to do that by living them in His Church, which is His Body, for the sake of the world. That world created through Him out of love was lost due to sin. He came among us and began creation anew. That is what we celebrate. Death has been defeated by His Saving Death. In His Resurrection, we now live no more to die, Alleluia!

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ


CHESAPEAKE, VA. (Catholic Online) - In the Epistle reading for our Mass during the day on Easter Sunday, the Apostle Paul reminds the early Christians - and reminds all of us who stand with them in the continuing redemptive mission of the Lord - of an aspect of our celebration. Not only has the Lord whom we love been raised - but we who have been baptized into Him have already been raised with Him!

"Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth; For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory." (Col. 3: 1- 4)

At the Easter Vigil the new flame was lit. As a deacon of the Church I had the honor of carrying the Paschal candle into the dark sanctuary proclaiming "Christ our Light". Candle by candle, the light of the Resurrection illuminated the world around us as He who is the Light of the World fills it with His radiance. I had the further privilege of singing that ancient hymn of the Church which captures the depth of the mystery we celebrate today, the Exultet, "Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels! Exult, all creation around God's throne! Jesus Christ, our King is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!"  The words to this hymn offer the deepest  insights into the great event we celebrate.

The Vigil Liturgy readings walked us through the Old Testament into the New Testament - unfolding the great plan of a loving God who did not leave us in sin but sent His only Son into the world to save us and set us free! This world which He had created in love through the Word is now re-created from within through the Incarnation of the Word, the Saving Life, Death and Resurrection, of the Word made Flesh. The one whom the Scriptures proclaim as the first born of the new creation burst forth from the tomb and began the New Creation.

Throughout the world, Catechumens, those prepared through catechesis (instruction in the faith) for Baptism and the Easter sacraments - and Candidates, Christians of other communities whose Baptism the Holy Church recognizes, prepared along with them for the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist, were incorporated into the full communion of Church, the Risen Body of the One who has been Raised; the One in whom we have been raised.

The palpable joy of Easter flooded Christians as we witnessed the power of God, Sacramentally mediated through those saving waters of Baptism, the Oil of Chrism and the reception of the most Holy Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Tears flowed like a river and the cold hearts of many of the faithful were enkindled once again by the great Easter Flame.

With the Mass of Easter day we begin the Octave, eight days of feasting on the readings which Holy Mother Church sets out on the table of the Ambo and receiving the Risen One in the most Holy Eucharist, becoming what we consume. We will hear the marvelous post Resurrection accounts and follow the extraordinary change which occurred in the early Apostles as the power of this Resurrection fashioned them into a living witness for the faith.

We will celebrate Easter for fifty days until we celebrate the next great Feast, the Feast of Pentecost. Alleluias will permeate our worship - and they are meant to inform our lives. That is because, in the words of the great western Church Bishop, Augustine, "we are an Easter people and alleluia is our song."

Everything is different now because that Tomb is empty. We are different now because we have been raised with Christ. We have been capacitated, through the Resurrection, to begin living our lives in a new way. Have you have heard the old adage, used often in a disparaging way, "Hes so heavenly he is no earthly good." I suggest again that it misses the mark completely. We Easter people are called to be so heavenly- to live our lives so attractively - that we bring Goodness Himself to the earth. Easter is more than a day, it is a way of living our lives now in Him, and with one another for the sake of the world.

Because He has been raised, heaven has come to earth and earth can now come to heaven. Because He has been raised, the new creation has already begun. The seed of the kingdom is manifested in the Church which is His Risen Body, the sign of the new heaven and new earth. That Holy Place of Habitation where all men and women are called to be set free from the Law of sin and death, live and graze, being fed on His Word and nourished on His Body and Blood,  healed by His Oil of Mercy and prepared for eternity.

As we follow Peter and John, whose story we heard proclaimed in our Gospel lesson for Easter Sunday, we witness the power of the Resurrection at work in the lives of ordinary men and women who become extraordinary by living their lives in Him. No longer afraid, these witnesses of the Resurrection, in the words of the Acts of the Apostles, "turn the world upside down with their preaching." They became so configured to the Lord that they lived and died like Him, for the sake of the world which is being re-born now, because he has been raised. So too can we turn our world upside down because the Resurrection makes all things new, beginning now!

The implications of the Resurrection unfolded for them as they reflected on His saving life and death and yielded to the work of the Holy Spirit in their own lives. So it must for us now, as we realize that Easter is more than a day, it is a way. Time became for them a tutor, no longer a tyrant. Because the sting of death, sin, had been defeated, it became for them a portal into eternal life and communion with the One who has been raised. So it is for each of us who now bear His Name. Time invites us into a field of choice where we can progress in freedom and become configured to the One whose Holy Resurrection we are celebratring.
 
Easter is more than a Day, it is a Way; A Way of living our lives differently now in Him. We are invited to do that by living them in His Church, which is His Body, for the sake of the world. The Church is the new world, in the course of transfiguration. That world created through Him out of love but which was lost due to sin, is now being made new because that tomb is empty. He came among us and began creation anew. That is what we celebrate. Death has been defeated by His Saving Death. In His Resurrection, we now live no more to die. Darkness has been scattered by the Light which breaks forth from that empty tomb and is meant to infuse our daily lives with the radiance of Resurrected love.  What a Day! What a Way, the Easter Way, Alleluia!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.

Keywords: Easter, Resurrection, Exultet, Easter Vigil, Empty Tomb, Alleluia, Deacon Keith Fournier



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1 - 7 of 7 Comments

  1. Lonny D'Agostini
    3 years ago

    An addendum.....................Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, in writing about this subject states, (April 12, 1820) 'For a long while I have had interior lights on the state of children dying without Baptism, and I have seen the unspeakable blessings, the treasures they lose when deprived of this Sacrament. I cannot express what I feel on beholding their loss!'

  2. Lonny D'Agostini
    3 years ago

    The importance of Baptism cannot be overemphasized............
    It is a great tragedy in our times to see so many children deprived of Holy Baptism. While the governments call it a crime, and rightly so, if parents deprive their children of the natural necessities of life: such as food, education and medicine, yet when they deprive them of the supernatural life of baptism, it is looked upon as if it were some trivial. O how gravely men error! How foolish and vain is their thinking! If we are heading overseas to a foreign country and we do not our passport we will not be allowed entry. It is that simple. Likewise, a soul who is not baptized cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (John 3:5) Amen, Amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Aside from the baptism of blood and desire, the early Church speculated as to the fate of unbaptized infants. Augustine thought that they would suffer the least in hell. Bellarmine held that they would experience only the pain of loss but not the pain of sense. St. Thomas taught that they would have neither pain of sense nor loss, but would only possess a natural happiness. This he called limbo. It would be like an Eskimo who has gone through life without ever having visited the tropics. He cannot be sad for he was never aware of there being a better place. Some mystics have said that souls in limbo can be lifted into Heaven with either a baptism for the unborn or a Requiem Mass – but these claims are not certain. As Jesus tells the mystic Luisa Piccarreta, ‘through Baptism I restore {man’s} innocence, I find my child again, I give back to him the rights over Creation which he had lost…I make the enemy flee from him, that he may no longer have any right over him, I entrust him to the Angels, and all of Heaven makes feast for him.’ St. Faustina in her diary relays the following story, ‘there was a Jewish woman who was seriously ill. I went to see here three days ago and was deeply pained at the thought that she would soon die without having her soul cleansed by the grace of baptism. I had an understanding with her nurse, a religious sister, that when her last moment would be approaching, she would baptize her. There was this difficulty however, that there were always some Jewish people with her. However, I felt inspired to pray before the image which Jesus had instructed me to have painted. I have a leaflet with the Image of the Divine Mercy on the cover. And I said to the Lord, “Jesus, you yourself told me that you would grant many graces through this image. I ask You, then, for the grace of Holy Baptism for this Jewish lady. It makes no difference who will baptize her, as long as she is baptized. After these words, I felt strangely at peace, and I was quite sure that, despite the difficulties, the waters of Holy Baptism would be poured upon her soul. That night, when she was very low, I got out of bed three times to see her, watching for the right moment to give her this grace. The next morning, she seemed to feel a little better. In the afternoon her last moment began to approach. The sister who was her nurse said that baptism would be difficult because they were with her. The moment came when the sick woman began to lose consciousness, and as a result, in order to save her, they began to run about; some went to fetch the doctor, while others went off in other directions to find help. And so the patient was left alone, and sister baptized her, and before they had all rushed back, her soul was beautiful, adorned with God’s grace. Her final agony began immediately, but it did not last long. It was as if she fell asleep. All of a sudden, I saw her soul ascending to heaven in wondrous beauty. Oh, how beautiful is a soul with sanctifying grace! Joy flooded my heart that before this image I had received so great a grace for this soul.' Considering the wonderful privileges attached to baptism those Christian parents who knowingly and willingly deprive their children of this great sacrament will have to answer to God for their crime on Judgment Day. However, just being baptizing is not enough. The real challenge is for the baptized to persevere in that state. An analogy which may help is to think of the grace of baptism as a supernatural flame. After this holy flame has been ignited in our souls it must be protected from the gusts of sin. Venial sin makes it flicker and smoke and mortal sin blows it out. Now if we are so unfortunate as to fall into mortal sin we cannot reignite that flame ourselves – neither our faith nor prayers is sufficient, it requires a new initiative of God’s Mercy which He normally extends to us in the sacrament of reconciliation. In sum, baptism puts us in a state of grace; obeying the Commandments keeps us in the state of grace and confession restores us to the state of grace if we have lost it.

    .............Levels of Heaven and Hell...............

    Once we are baptized all the trials and sufferings that we go through in life become meritorious. The Cross no longer takes on the appearance of a curse or a burden but as a blessing and an opportunity because with each suffering we increase our capacity to participate in God’s Life - in His power, glory, honor, wisdom, beauty and all the other attributes. In Heaven, all will be glorious but there will be varying degrees of glory. As Jesus told St. Faustina, (Divine Mercy in my Soul, §1811) Each Holy Communion makes you more capable of communing with God throughout eternity. Take as an example two containers, one large and one tiny, and fill them each with water. They will be equally full, but with unequal amounts. So there will be varying degrees of blessedness in Heaven. And just as the unblemished saint will occupy a much higher place in Heaven than the death-bed convert, the unrepentant mass murderer will occupy a much deeper place in Hell than the unrepentant fornicator.

  3. Ninov
    3 years ago

    Mudjugore as an advertiser ? I now this isn't about the article but I know the good Deacon often reads and responds here. Is it wise to put an unapproved apparition on your web page? There has been much disobedience with regards to the alleged seers to the point where the Bishop really put the stops on publicly promoting this. It would seem obedient to not advertise and wait until the now formed commission by Holy Mother Church makes its call. I would not want to have advertisements on my web site promoting this to find the Church makes a ruling against this apparition. Seems prudent to now allow this on the web site? I was taken aback to see this scrolling on your home page in large fashion. I know it’s a popular apparition but until the church approves it, it seems prudent to wait.

  4. Ferdinand Cassar Torreggiani
    3 years ago

    May Jesus look down with love on those Christians who are prevented to celebrate Easter they would like to. Countries where the governments persecute Christians May Jesus protect them.

  5. Tina
    3 years ago

    Easter is indeed a way of living, thanks to God for this new way & may He uphold us to live it.

  6. Bulbajer
    3 years ago

    Happy Easter everyone!

  7. Scott A.
    3 years ago

    Thank you Dcn. Fornier, may you and your have a blessed Easter Season!!!

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